Guinea pigs, also called “cavies” are perfect for households with kids. These fluffy creatures can make the cutest and gentlest pet but you should be ready to commit time and effort in caring for these lovable rodents. If you are planning to adopt a guinea pig, or you have already brought one home, here are a few tips on how to properly care for your cavy.
- Provide company for your guinea pig
- As much as possible, adopt two guinea pigs so they would not get lonely. As herd animals, they need the company of other guinea pigs. Cavies without companions can develop depression symptoms such as loss of appetite and inactivity.
- Provide a large enough cage for your guinea pig
- Choose a cage where your guinea pigs have ample space to move around. Exercise is important for a healthy and happy guinea pig so provide them with toys and cage accessories. Exercise wheels are not recommended because it can result to damaged backs and injured feet. There are other items that can be bought from pet stores but you can also improvise from boxes and containers in your house. You should also choose a solid bottom cage from a wire bottom cage to protect their fragile feet.
- Find a suitable location for your guinea pig cage
- It is recommended to put your guinea pig cage in a place where there are people such as the living room, bedroom, or hallway but you have to ensure that the cage cannot be knocked over. This will help your cavies become accustomed to humans. Do not put the cage in the garage with cars because the fumes can be harmful. Guinea pigs are also sensitive to temperature so it is best to keep them inside. Don’t forget to occasionally have supervised play outside to expose your cavies to nature and sunshine.
- Provide hay for your guinea pigs
- Guinea pigs need something to graze on at all times. Alfafa hay can be given to babies less than six months and to pregnant or nursing sows. The rest can be given timothy, orchard grass, or blue grass hay.